how do earthquakes happen

How do Earthquakes Happen and How Big It Can Be?

The question of how do earthquakes happen is certainly a very interesting question especially if you live in a region prone to earthquakes. It is true that earthquake is considered as the one of the most dangerous natural disasters when the outer earth’s crust produces shock wave energy.

Just a moment after the shock wave energy occurs, it creates dangerous hazards to the lives of the people living close by. Their lives are threatened by the fact that there will be land sliding, building collapsing and utilities breaking down. Simply said, the ground’s rupture and plate’s shift is the cause of the shaking or our planet Earth.

Forming of Earthquake

The tectonic processes are strongly related to the process of how earthquake happens. These processes also include the power of friction that happens along the fault. Earthquake happens following the shifting of tectonic plates and forming of fault.

All people do not realize that there are numerous quakes every day. When the small crash is produced by tectonic processes, it triggers small earthquake. These tiny quakes can be felt by only a few number of people. These are processes that happen following the shifting of tectonic plate in rate of 2-5 cm only.

Every time the tectonic plates move at any rates, the earth is shaken due to collision with each other. With so many plates beneath the surface, the speed of the plate to move is different from one plate to another plate. And, these plates are always moving and never stopping.

That is why there is always small to medium earthquake taking place. However, there will be some time when the plates break and eventually trigger shock wave energy causing enormous earthquake and tsunami. And once the tsunami occurs, the lives of hundreds of thousands to millions of people are threatened.

Here is the detail about how do earthquakes happen. When the two tectonic plates are connected, they create great tensions that are built up for decades. And when the great tension is released in all of a sudden, it triggers the earthquake and delivers seismic waves on the ground.

That is the reason why some earthquakes happen in the ocean while some others happen in middle of the continent. The Mega-thrust earthquake refers to the rupture in the crust of earth in ocean further and this is the earthquake causing the mega-thrust earthquake which is followed by tsunami, the giant ocean wave.

When it comes to the types of tsunami waves, there are S-wave and P-wave. The P-wave refers to primary wave that gets to the surface of the earth first. And the S-wave refers to secondary wave occurs following primary wave.

Actually, there is power in tension saved every time the tectonic plates are crashing with each other. Then, the shock waves will be created when the stress are basically bigger compared to the amount of power that the rock can hold. This is exactly when the earthquake happens.

When the rock slides, it creates something known as the fault. And when it comes to the fault, there are several fault lines in our planet Earth. Different type of fault causes different earthquakes. Some faults cause big enormous earthquake that can be followed with tsunami. Meanwhile, other faults only cause small earthquake.

There are three different types of fault movements, the normal, reverse or thrust and strike slip fault. The normal fault refers to the moving downward of earth crust. The reverse fault refers to the moving upward of the crust. It is the fault that can cause tsunami if it happens in ocean. The third fault type, the strike-slip fault is the moving side by side of earth crust horizontally and vertically just like what happen in San Andreas.

how do earthquakes happen

Volcanic Earthquake

Tectonic earthquake is not the only earthquake happens on earth. There are also volcanic earthquakes that often happen in certain parts of the world. This earthquake involves the magma of the volcanic mountains. Volcanoes or the huge molten rock were also results of shifting of the tectonic plates after the forming of the earth. The volcanic earthquake is as devastating as tectonic earthquake. In fact, it can also cause tsunami if the volcano is located in the ocean just like what happen in 19th century when one of the volcanoes in Indonesia erupted. There are two types of answer relating how do earthquakes happen which are based on shift of tectonic plates and the fault.

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